'Advani thought being PM was his birthright'

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Manmohan Singh
New Delhi, Mar 23: With the Opposition gunning for his head, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh today (Mar 23) launched a scathing counter-attack on the BJP. Singh reiterated his earlier statement that the veracity of the cables cannot be established.

The Prime Minister mixed humour and facts to drive home the need for the opposition to allow the house to function.

Not known for his oratorical prowess, the Prime Minister started of by saying that he isn't resigning any time soon and that BJP stalwart L K Advani who believed that being the PM was his birth right had to wait for his turn to become the Prime Minister. He also declared that he was no match to Sushma Swaraj in terms of speaking.

He then began to start the real business by stating that it was dangerous to sway with what an embassy official wrote about. The Prime Minister also invoked ex-Lox Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee's statement on the cash-for-vote enquiry and said that the evidence of any wrong-doing was insufficient to corroborate the charges against the government.

He said, "None from the Congress party or from the government indulged in any unlawful activity during trust vote...nor authorised anyone to indulge in such unlawful activity.."We have chosen to go for what some embassy official write about us, I must warn the House that it's dangerous. Many persons referred in these cables have denied their involvement."

Earlier in the day, coming down hard at the Opposition, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs said in the parliament, "Parliament has been made a prisoner after Wikileaks report in Hindu on March 17. PM gave his statement soon after on March 18. I understand that PM by mistake did not show the statement before reading it out in the Parliament."

He added, "PM said 'I wish to make it clear that nobody from the congress party indulged'. The Opposition leaders believe that their utterances are divine truths, they suffer from selective amnesia," and went on to say, "PM said 'That committee had concluded that there was insufficient evidences to prove bribery'. Was the PM writing thesis on this report? Sushma Swaraj is giving her own interpretation of the committee report."

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